- Creates the web pages of all Presbyterian mission co-workers.
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- Is a program of Presbyterian World Mission.
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Presbyterian missionaries are teachers, church planters, doctors, public health specialists, chaplains and human rights advocates. They teach theology, church history, Greek, Hebrew and English. They preach and evangelize. They organize and host mission teams from the United States. They accompany, they listen, they work in partnership with the Body of Christ in 71 countries. Find a mission worker now.
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A letter from Les Morgan serving in Bangladesh
December 30, 2015 - Begotten, Not Made
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God (Romans 8:19a).
I remember the morning we found a baby girl abandoned on the front steps of Christian Mission Hospital in Rajshahi, Bangladesh. Her mother, I imagined, had pressed her lips and cheeks wet with tears against her daughter’s face before whispering goodbye and turning away forever into the dark. Such, I could believe, was the suffering through which this child began her life in the arms of the Church; and as I held her, I loved her.
I thought of adopting the child, but instead entrusted her to the local church and prayed that God would choose a family and help them care for her. Yet the church was poor, and I struggled with the notion that instead of the child growing up with proper clothing, enough food, necessary health care, and a good education, she would suffer from the lack of all these, as so many in Bangladesh do. Indeed, a woman from among the impoverished and oppressed Santal tribal people adopted the child; the woman had never married but wanted to be a mother and so took the abandoned girl into her home. She named her Treesha, and she loved her and provided her all she could; but whenever I visited, my heart ached for the child, just as it aches for all who live in want.Continue reading
A letter from Tim Wheeler in the U.S., ending service in Honduras
January 2016 - Sustainable Mission
We often speak of sustainable development but rarely of sustainable mission.
Gloria and I left Honduras in August 2015. Since then we’ve been reflecting on 40 years of mission service, 25 of them as PC(USA) mission co-workers. Two texts have offered us wonderful core values for mission. Luke 4:18 proclaims: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” In Matthew, Jesus continues: Blessed are the poor, those that mourn, the meek, those that hunger and thirst after righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, the persecuted.
We’ve seen God’s healing hand so many times and in so many ways. We’ve sensed a new way of it being demonstrated by improved relationships and community involvement. We’ve seen how healing and comforting power has transformed the lives of the forgotten and marginalized. We shared experiences with amazing people who might be dismissed as unimportant, failures or outcasts. They have shown us that God is active in this world and real change is possible. But what about sustainable mission? Will things continue now that we have left?Continue reading
A letter from Kristi Van Nostran serving in El Salvador
December 30, 2015 - Blessings in the Unexpected
A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called, “Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Eternal Father,” “Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
In the early morning light there we were already bumping down the road in the back of the pickup. As we sped through clouds of dust, I wondered if the driver hadn’t forgotten the precious cargo in the bed of the truck. Everyone was excited to be joining our partner communities in the Lower Lempa River valley at a public forum to announce the approval of a municipal ordinance to further regulate the practices used in the production of sugarcane.
Fighting the noise of the road, the folks from San Isidro, San Luis Talpa, and Nahuilingo chatted enthusiastically about what it would mean if an ordinance like this one could be enacted in their communities. What if aerial spraying of agrochemicals were restricted; what if three-day’s notice to all the neighbors were required before burning the cane fields; what if water use for irrigation were limited to protect the supply for the surrounding communities? Spirits and hopes were high as they discussed the potential for replicating this kind of community-driven action in their own towns. As we pulled into the lot, dusty and wind-blown, everyone was anxious to celebrate this first step in a much larger struggle toward healthier and more sustainable agriculture in El Salvador. Upon our arrival, we found out that the forum had been postponed.Continue reading
A letter from Jo Ella Holman serving as Regional Liaison for the Caribbean region, based in the Dominican Republic
February 2016 - Transforming Life, One Community at a Time
The road is dusty leading into the community. It is dry here a lot and the dust swirls up around the truck as we enter the clinic yard. People walk slowly in the heat of the day, even the children don’t move too quickly. There are not many places to go anyway. A sense of hopelessness and quiet despair permeates the air. You can feel it in the way people move, in the way they look down at the ground as they walk, in the way their shoulders stoop as though the weight of the world rested upon them.
This could be any of many impoverished communities in the Dominican Republic, but this particular one is a batey, a traditional sugarcane-cutting community that began as migrant housing and gradually became a permanent settlement. The majority of the residents are Haitian or of Haitian descent. Some of the 350 families who live here are new, since the 2010 earthquake that shook the Haitian capital. But most go back many years, some a generation or two of forbearers who crossed the border in search of work and a better life. Like migrant laborers and immigrants everywhere, they endured the hardships of learning a new language, living in an unfamiliar culture, and suffering daily indignities and, all too often, low wages and mistreatment.Continue reading
A letter from Mark Hare in the U.S. on Interpretation Assignment from Haiti/Dominican Republic
December 2015-January 2016 - Changes
As Jenny noted in her recent letter, we have been going through many changes as a family since we arrived in the United States last June.
One of those changes for me has been how I interpret my work as a mission co-worker to the congregations that we visit. For most of my time as a mission worker, I have been doing mission interpretation by myself. Working as a team with Jenny to put together our story has been an enormous improvement. For example, Jenny has helped me focus on the importance of creating spaces that can provide opportunities for deep conversations and help us develop real relationships with congregations here in the States just as we develop deep relationships with the communities where we serve in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. My style of interpreting mission has tended toward presentation, while Jenny has focused on dialogue. This has pulled me out of my comfort zone and that’s the point. It is by moving out of our comfort zones that we can stretch ourselves, begin to grow, and create more space within ourselves for the Holy Spirit to blow through.Continue reading
A letter from Jenny Bent in the U.S. on Interpretation Assignment from Haiti/Dominican Republic
November 2015 - Dialogue and Community
My family and I have gone through many changes in the last several months, leaving our home and our work in the Dominican Republic and Haiti and coming to the United States. And this has led me to think about the question, “Where have we found community?”
Our family arrived in Amesville, Ohio, on June 22, very conveniently during the summer time. Our transition from summer to autumn has been easy up until now, but that doesn’t mean that moving into winter will be as easy for us. I am not looking forward to the cold. But we do have the good fortune of having very good friends in Amesville. Keila and Annika have winter clothing that came from the grandchildren of neighbors. This is particularly important because, unlike myself, the girls are very anxious to play in the snow.Continue reading
A letter from Nancy Collins serving as Regional Liaison for East Central Africa, based in Zambia
December 2015 - A Christmas Story from Zambia
Dear Family and friends,
For the past four years I have celebrated Christmas in the U.S.A. Last year my goal was to attend as many Christmas performances and activities as possible. I managed 11 events during Advent. I spent Christmas Eve with my 21-year-old son Charles and Christmas Day with Charles and my brother David’s family.
This year I am celebrating Christmas in Lusaka, Zambia. I know in past years there has been a Christmas musical performance at the Anglican Cathedral here. If it was held this year, I missed it. I dusted off and set up all my Christmas decorations. The house looks nice. One evening when the power was on I listened to a Christmas music CD. But these things were not very satisfying. This is the first year son Charles and I will not be together on Christmas. I have had moments of panic and grief about being in Lusaka by myself at Christmas. The pull of Western style Christmas traditions, and of family fellowship, has been very strong.Continue reading
A letter from Rochelle and Tyler Holm serving in Malawi
January 1, 2016 - Partner With Us…
Hello from Malawi!
In 2016 we are continuing to serve in Mzuzu, Malawi (Africa), at the invitation of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), Synod of Livingstonia, and the PC(USA), Presbyterian World Mission. And we invite you to join in God’s call with our ministry in 2016, whether it is through prayer, a visit to Malawi, financial support, or letters of encouragement!
Tyler continues to teach theology at the University of Livingstonia, one of the synod’s institutions. The Faculty of Theology on the Ekwendeni campus is training future pastors for the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian. There is now both a distance learning and residential program, and the Faculty of Theology is growing. In addition, fewer than 1 percent of the population have access to a university education, one of the lowest rates in the world. There are several vibrant churches in Malawi, but there is a great need of trained ministers. Currently ministers must serve many congregations. In 2003 a survey reported there was just one ordained minister for every 7,000 catechized members of the CCAP. This denomination was formed in the late 1940s and has been supported by many mission personnel over the years.Continue reading
A letter from Marta Bennett serving in Kenya
December 2015 - PEACE ON EARTH AND GOODWILL TOWARD ALL
Peace. The weeks of Christmas and New Year’s are quite peaceful here in Nairobi; most folks have travelled up-country to “eat Christmas” with extended families and communities. I sit in my rocking chair looking out over the back garden, and as birds are twittering away amid the bougainvillea, a gangly ibis stands poised on top of the stone wall, calculating the risk of descending down into the new green growth prompted by the heavy rains, but wary of the two alert dogs pacing back and forth below, eager for a good chase. The red finches and yellow weaver birds are unraveling strands from the banana leaves to fortify their nests, and the sun shines warmly on the entire scene.
As we have celebrated the birth of the Prince of Peace into human history once again this December, how much this year we have been reminded yet again of how much we need his peace, the peace of God that transcends all understanding, as well as peace on earth and goodwill to all. While the birds in the garden are oblivious, enjoying their Creator’s good creation, human news is a constant barrage of reports of wars and tragedies. Yet even there, in the midst, are multiple incidents of hope, and we see God’s love rising above fear and hate. In Kenya, for instance…Continue reading
A letter from Karla Koll serving in Costa Rica
January 2016 - New Beginnings
Dear companions in mission,
Greetings from Costa Rica in this New Year. This letter comes with my thanksgiving for your friendship and support. I pray that you have had your hope renewed through the celebration of Jesus’ birth. May we all be ready to face the challenges that this new year will bring.
The new year is getting off to a slow start for my family. By the time our daughter, Tamara, arrived here in Costa Rica on December 24, Javier was already feeling the flu coming on. Tamara and I succumbed on the day after Christmas. It was not the family vacation we had planned, but we were all together and able to rest quietly. Penny, my pug, thought it was wonderful to have so many people in the house with whom to cuddle for so many days. We still have some days of vacation left, so we will at least get to a beach before Tamara returns to Portland and her job with an immigration lawyer on January 8.Continue reading
A letter from Kay Day serving in Rwanda
January 2016 - Spouses’ School
Dear Family and Friends,
Happy New Year greetings from Rwanda!
As the old year ends and the new one begins, we all have a tendency to reflect on the events of the past year. Rather than counting the number of classes I’ve taught or sermons I’ve preached, I like to reflect on the people’s lives that have touched mine in the events of the year. One of the most significant for me was just before the Christmas break, when we held “Spouses’ School” at PIASS (Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences). This was an event sponsored by the Presbyterian Women of the PC(USA) and enabled 40 spouses of pastors and pastors in training to receive training themselves in the Bible and Bible study leadership, church history, pastoral counseling, community development, and several other areas that equip them to assist their spouses more effectively in ministry.Continue reading
Thank You and Your Family for serving God by taking His word so far from Your Home.
God is doing his work and using us a tools in other nations.during my working here in Athens i observed that there are many oppertunities to share the Gospel massage with other those do not know Jesus and we can bring them to Jesus Christ.Please prayer for me that i'm a very littel to that God is using me here in Athens Greece. God bless you.